Improving Health Through Medical Physics

WPSC News Bites

AAPM Newsletter — Volume 43 No. 6 — November | December 2018

Congratulations to all new AAPM fellows and awardees! The WPSC would particularly like to recognize the exceptional group of women who received the distinction of FAAPM: Maria-Ester Brandon, PhD; Eileen Cirino, MS; Jessica B. Clements, MS; Carrie K. Glide-Hurst, PhD; Lakshmi Santanam, PhD; Jennifer B. Smilowitz, PhD; Cynthia L. Thomason, PhD; and Twyla R. Willoughby, PhD. Congratulations also to Magdalena Bazalova-Carter, PhD, for receiving the John S. Laughlin Young Scientist Award! The website with information on fellowship and award requirements is here; members who are eligible to nominate are encouraged to start the nomination process for members they feel are deserving of these awards.

Members in the News

Many AAPM and WPSC members are featured in or write articles for other organizations about their work, medical physics, or being a woman in physics. Recent examples are listed here and each is a good read. If you're aware of other articles by female AAPM members that should be brought to our attention, please send them along to WPSC editor Jennifer Pursley. AAPM Fellow and ABR trustee Kalpana Kanal wrote an article for the winter issue of the BEAM, the ABR newsletter, on diversity and fairness within the ABR. AAPM Fellow Robin Miller was the featured ABR diplomate in the spring issue of the BEAM. Chair of AAPM Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee Julianne Pollard-Larkin wrote an article for the summer edition of the ASTROnews on gender-equity in medical physics and the progress made in increasing diversity. And AAPM Fellow and past president Maryellen Giger wrote a commentary for Physics Today on entrepreneurship and academia, based on her experience as part of the team establishing the field of Computer-Aided Detection (CAD).

If you're attending this year's RSNA in Chicago, please check out the events sponsored by the American Association for Women Radiologists (AAWR). In particular, the AAWR Educational Session on November 28 features a panel discussion on "Parental/FMLA Leave in Residency."

For the third time, Elsevier has produced a Virtual Special Issue on Women in Physics. The issue highlights recent, novel publications by women in different branches of science and makes those publications free to download and read for 12 months. The Virtual Special Issue on Women in Physics 2018 is available for download until March 2019.

Earlier this year the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) published a report on sexual harassment of women working in academic sciences, engineering, and medicine fields titled “Together We Can Do Better.” The report is available on the NASEM website; pdf downloads are free and paper or ebook copies are available to purchase. The report concluded that culture change in academia is key to reducing the incidence of the sexual harassment, in particular by increasing diversity and reducing the dependence of students and junior faculty on a single senior advisor. Several responses have been published by medical journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, and the ASCO Post published an article by radiation oncologist Stephanie L. Graff, MD. AAPM is working on its own response which will be published in the Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics. The NASEM Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine is hosting a national convocation in Washington, DC, on Friday Nov 9 on how to address the issues highlighted in the report. If you are unable to attend in person, you can also register for the free Webcast connection through this Eventbrite link.

The American Institute of Physics (AIP) publishes Physics Today, the most closely followed magazine in the world for physics research updates and physics-related topics. Recently Physics Today has featured several interesting articles related to diversity and women in physics. One, titled "Gender matters," goes over the evidence for patterns of gender inequity in physics academia and offers suggestions and resources for departments to reduce inequity. Another article highlighted a hearing from the federal House Science Committee which addressed sexual harassment in science, and at which a panel of four women scientists called for change within a culture that remains permissive of harassment. Another, provocatively titled "Diversity in Physics: Are you part of the problem?" from University of Washington's Dr. Ann Nelson, asked faculty to take a hard look at their department's culture and their own unconscious biases that may be restricting efforts to create a more diverse environment. The American Physical Society (APS) also has an active Committee on the Status of Women in Physics, whose most recent Gazette newsletters feature articles on harassment and diversity issues in the physics field. All of these articles are a good resource for our members as well!

Seeking Contributors!

The WPSC Newsletter is published biannually in the spring and fall, and we are always on the lookout for news, stories, ideas, and features related to Women in Medical Physics to include in future editions. Contributions and suggestions can be sent directly to the WPSC at

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